Minnesota’s offense will adapt after a tough week
Of course, Dan Bailey’s field goal attempts could have been a moot point had the Vikings had a better day on offense last week. Minnesota came out and executed their game plan to run the ball right into the teeth of Tampa Bay’s top-ranked rushing defense and Dalvin Cook became the first player this season to top 70 yards against that unit. In fact, he ran for 102, which was impressive.
But the Vikings left plenty of opportunities on the table that could have put the Bucs into the fire early. With three trips to the red zone, Minnesota came away with six points and Tom Brady was happy to climb his way back into the game while the Vikings smashed Cook into the interior of the defensive line.
Against the Bears, Minnesota needs to realize that the best way to attack is with a sense of urgency. Chicago owns the fifth-ranked defense against the run according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric and they held Cook to a season-low 3.2 yards per carry in their last meeting. This number also became inflated when Akiem Hicks went out with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter.
This isn’t to say that the Vikings should take Cook out of their offense, but they should be open to being more aggressive against the Bears. Chicago ranks 10th in DVOA against the pass, but they also can be exploited for big plays in the secondary.
If Minnesota remains one-dimensional this week, this game could be a repeat of what we saw last Sunday.